“No team has ever been promoted by talking alone”

“No team has ever been promoted by talking alone”
Sports director Wolfgang Fiala and coach Maximilian Senft
Ried coach Maximilian Senft

REED. At least since the bitter 0-1 home defeat against GAK on Friday evening, it has been clear that SV Ried will no longer play a role in the promotion race. There are still nine games left to play this season. The pressure on the sporting management and the team will continue to increase from the summer onwards. Reason: a “two-year plan” announced by the club before this season for a return to the Bundesliga. “The pressure will be there, but not just because of the two-year plan. SV Ried is a club that belongs in the top division. However, we have to work meticulously, stick together and make the right decisions. Because from talking alone “No team has been promoted yet,” says sports director Wolfgang Fiala in an interview with the Oberösterreichische Nachrichten.

OÖN: “We’re looking from game to game. After the direct duel against GAK, we’ll see whether we can intervene in the title fight again,” you said in an interview in mid-February before the start of the second half of the season. The gap to Graz was eight points at the time. Six games (with four defeats) later, Ried is fourth in the table, 16 points behind. How bitter have the past few weeks been?

Wolfgang Fiala: When you don’t win in football, it’s always bitter. But the past few weeks have been quite informative, even if we had hoped for different results in terms of results. In phases like this you can see very clearly what we still need in order to be at the top next season.

What conclusions did you draw from this phase?

It is obvious that we are currently struggling offensively against the top teams in the second division. Five of six goalless games this season have been against the top five in the league. That has to do with a certain physicality up front. We also miss some of that in away games because the conditions in the second division are perhaps not quite as good as in Ried and our playing strengths become less important.

Ried still has the best goal difference in the league. As you mentioned, why is it so difficult to play against the better teams in the league?

This circumstance can also be explained by what has just been said. If we can use our dynamic attacking football and take the lead early on, then we can shoot some of the opponents away. That explains the many goals. In tight games or in places where it becomes more difficult for us to play for various reasons, other components have an influence. You need the ability to assert yourself in duels, whether in duels or running duels, which we are currently lacking. We’re on the right track in terms of play, as we saw against GAK. But in Leoben this component was less important on the bad pitch. When it comes to defense, I see us as stable.

A quick look back at the top game against GAK: There was great excitement about the referee’s performance. Among other things, a yellow-red card was not given because the referee and an assistant were apparently no longer sure who had committed the foul. What do you think about it?

Of course it shouldn’t happen in this form in a top game like this. Since the relegation battle in spring 2023, we have been disadvantaged when it comes to close referee decisions, just think of the game against Tyrol. Another example: We have a team that creates a lot of moves in the opponent’s penalty area. In the current season we have only received one penalty, no team in the league has received less. Something doesn’t add up when we are awarded six fewer penalties in 21 games than St. Pölten. But don’t get it wrong: That shouldn’t be an excuse, because the 16-point deficit to the GAK is not solely the fault of the referees. Unfortunately, we rarely manage to win close games on our side. We have to work on that.

How certain is it for you that SV Ried will start the new season with Maximilian Senft, with whom they were relegated from the Bundesliga in the summer?

For me there is no doubt about that. You just have to look at the recent newcomers. The GAK has stuck with Gernot Messner and will be promoted this year; at Blau-Weiß Linz it was the same with Gerald Scheiblehner. In general, Ried hasn’t had the best experiences with the numerous coaching changes over the past ten years. It is not a panacea.

What signals are there from the board regarding the coaching question?

Since I am the person responsible for sports, I assume that my recommendations have weight. Otherwise we wouldn’t need a sports director.

Ried coach Maximilian Senft
Image: GEPA pictures


Ried coach Maximilian Senft
Image: GEPA pictures

Source: Nachrichten

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